Ashkenaz, Deli With Roots Back To 1910, Closes To Be Replaced By Trayf

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Photo: courtesy Chicagoist

A Jewish resident of the Gold Coast we knew once told us that the first two calls you make when someone dies are to the next of kin, and to Ashkenaz for a deli tray for shiva. That suggests both the overlooked deli's importance to its neighborhood... and why it closed Sunday, as its core clientele increasingly passed away. Founded by a family named Ashkenaz, it began in the North Lawndale neighborhood in 1910 and moved to Rogers Park around 1940; when that location burned in the 1970s, others opened in Wilmette and in the Gold Coast. The current owners had owned it for about eight years but sold it recently after observing business decline with the years; the buyer is a restaurateur who plans to open a bargain-priced lobster roll spot called Da Lobsta. Chicagoist had a good feature on the deli earlier this year here. [Crain's]